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Open Doors 

 An electronic newsletter designed for community college advisors


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Degree/Program Updates

New Process for Transfer Students

Admitted transfer students who do not enroll in classes for a semester now have the option of changing their semester of entry into NIU without starting the entire admissions process all over again. These admitted students simply need to complete an update form, and the application fee that was previously submitted is applied to the updated application.  

Department of Geography Now Offers Geomatics Emphasis

Geomatics is the science of measurement, representation, analysis, management, retrieval and display of spatial data pertaining to the physical Earth and its human built environments. High-tech equipment like GIS, GPS, digital photogrammetry, satellite and terrestrial remote sensing are used to create a detailed picture of the Earth’s natural and man-made features.

Our program is unique in that it:

  • Fully integrates GIS and mapping science into a modern land surveying program, and   
  • Blends land surveying (measurement) with GIS, cartography, remote sensing and spatial analysis, making it more broadly applicable and more modern than other such programs. 

Visit our website for more information.

Coming Soon: New Certificate in Criminology

Beginning in Fall 2013, the Department of Sociology will be offering a new certificate in Criminology.  The certificate is designed to provide insight into the academic study of crime and the criminal justice system in contemporary society.  This certificate is recommended for all students interested in examining issues associated with the patterns, correlates and explanations of crime, as well as societal responses to crime, both formal and informal.  Students studying for or working in the criminal justice and legal systems, security, education, public health, social sciences and human services may wish to pursue this certification.  The certificate program is open to all NIU undergraduate students.  Students must maintain good academic standing in the university, maintain a 2.00 grade point average in certificate courses and complete all certificate work within six (6) calendar years.  All courses for the certificate must be completed at NIU.  Certificate courses in Sociology may be counted toward undergraduate degree requirements in the department.


SOCI 381 – Criminology (3)
SOCI 383 – The Criminal Justice System (3)

Any three of the following:

SOCI 380 – Deviance in Society (3)
SOCI 384 – Police in a Democratic Society (3)
SOCI 386 – Peace & Social Justice (3)
SOCI 388 – Punishment & Corrections (3)
SOCI 390 – Internship in Sociology (3) with approval - may count up to 3 hours.|
SOCI 395 – Contemporary Topics in Sociology (3) with approval of department
SOCI 480 – Communities & Crime (3)
SOCI 485 – Law & Society (3)
SOCI 487 – Gender & Crime (3)
SOCI 488 – Juvenile Delinquency (3)
SOCI 492 – Comparative Criminology (3)
SOCI 495 – Proseminar in Sociology (3) with approval of department
SOCI 357 – Sociology of Gender 
         OR SOCI 361 – Race and Ethnicity (3)
         OR SOCI 450 –Social Inequality (3)

Department News


Undergraduate students can tap into a wide range of opportunities to gain lab and research experience alongside top professors. These step by step instructions will guide them to the right program or project.

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Our fall seminar series is in full swing.  All are welcome to join us in explore the exciting research presented by professors and scientists from Argonne National Laboratory, UIC, and other institutions. 


Our new major in Geomatics, with 32 semester hours in surveying, mapping, and the environmental and human traditions of geography and 9 semester hours of electives from courses in surveying, remote sensing, and land management/planning, will be offered in Fall 2013.  Class sizes in courses required for the Geography major average between 35 and 50, while enrollments in Geomatics electives are often between 10 and 20.  Geomatics professionals are commonly employed by civil engineering, environmental engineering, and engineering consulting firms; land surveying firms; local governments; state and federal resources agencies; resource exploration and development firms - including renewable energy developers; large construction and development firms, and utilities. Students completing the degree in Geography with an emphasis in Geomatics may also pursue graduate degrees in geography, geodesy, surveying, and select fields in engineering.  Learn more at our GeogBlog and follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on events and new developments in geography and meteorology.   

Geology and Environmental Geosciences

Testing of the Sub-Ice ROVer (SIR) continued this fall, as professors Ross Powell and Reed Scherer prepare to drill through a half mile of ice in Antarctica in December, retrieving samples of never-before-see organisms and other secrets entombed in Subglacial Lake Whillans.  Assisting with the project are Ph.D. student Timothy Hodson in geology and computer science research associate John Winans.  Powell also hopes to take along an undergraduate student in geology.


We’re proud of the role our faculty played in the discovery of the Higgs-boson particle, cited as the biggest piece of news in physics since the top quark was discovered in 1995!  NIU’s contribution to this effort was led by Presidential Research Professor Dhiman Chakraborty in Physics.  NIU’s team received a congratulatory letter from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. 

Honors Program

Could your students qualify for the University Honors Program?  Transfer students need a cumulative GPA of 3.20/4.00 on all transfer work.  Benefits include individualized advising; priority registration; smaller, interactive Honors-only classes; exclusive events; and an awesome Honors House living-learning community.  Check out the video

Deadlines and Events

Calendar for 2013 Transfers

November 9, 2012              Open House          Online Registration

November 16, 2012            City Colleges @ NIU Day

January 12, 2012 Decision 2013 Day 

Lake County Information Session 6-8 PM, October 30, 2012
Grayslake Public Library, 100 Library Lane, Graylsake, IL 

Chicago Information Session 5:30-7:30 PM, November 1, 2012
Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL

November 8, 16, 20, and December 7: Transfer Orientation Information and Reservation
Remind your students that they can now make a reservation online for upcoming orientation events.

Registration Dates for Spring 2013 Semester Students who transfer to NIU and plan to take classes in the spring 2013 semester will need to complete orientation and meet with their advisor before registering for classes. Check the registration appointment schedule!

Transfer Student Chat Events
Admissions is hosting hour long, online group chat sessiosn for prospective and admitted transfer students to ask questions of current students and staff from Financial Aid, Admissions, Military Student Services, Scholarship Office, Disability Resource Center, Off-campus and Non-Tradtional Student Services, and Campus Child Care. Here's this fall's schedule:

  • October 26, 3-4 PM
  • November 19, 3-4 PM
  • December 12, 3-4 PM 

Schedule a Visit
If your students can't make it to one of our scheduled events, NIU offers tours Monday - Friday
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 1:00-3:00 p.m. Schedule a visit.  

Program Showcase

Mike Sherry, Eric Madden, Rachael Hines and Sarah Brokus discuss a plan of action before entering a simulated contamination site.HAZWOPER training: a ‘gold star by your name’

Chances are good that passersby who walked near Davis Hall or the NIU Transportation Center during the week of June 11 did a double take.

After all, it’s not every day that 21 NIU students in Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and Tyvek® suits, practicing the proper handling of hazardous materials and simulating work on contaminated sites.  More>


C.T. Lin

C.T. Lin: Invention Man

Remember, you heard it here first: “the molecular fan.” It might just become one of the key features of tomorrow’s technology.

The molecular fan, which aims to keep hot technology cool, is one of the latest innovations from the laboratory of NIU Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor Chhiu-Tsu Lin, or simply “C.T.,” as he’s known to students and colleagues.  More>




NIU offers a wide range of scholarships, grants, and awards. The university’s Scholarship Office is also on Facebook, where it provides regular updates about new awards, deadlines, and links to key resources.

What Can I Do with My Degree?

Given the ongoing push to increase the United States’ strength in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, a degree in the sciences offers a wide variety of career options as well as a comfortable income. Check out the “What Can I Do with This Degree?” section in a few of our fact sheets for some ideas to share with your students. 

My NIU Experience

Engaged Learning

Engaged learning is a term we use to describe hands-on, practical experiences for our students, which in turn translate into career opportunities, research experience and access to advanced degrees. Here are videos that highlight two of our students' research and cultural immersion experiences.



The college recognizes the value of internships and encourages qualified students to earn credit through various departments and programs. For more information, check our Facebook page or look for specialized opportunities on department websites

Study Abroad: 
The college offers opportunities that suit any major, span 75 different countries, fit any schedule, and cost less than you think.

Recently, Emily Dow, an NIU Anthropology graduate student, appeared in a noon time show in Manila, Philippines. Watch the video on YouTube.

Visit the NIU Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning website for more information.

Advising News

Our Advisors

We are here to help students define an educational vision and assist in academic planning to achieve that vision within NIU rules and regulations. More >

NIU's Transfer Center can help with questions you or your students have about the transfer process. Contact the Center at 800-893-3050, 815-753-0446 or via email at

Afterword: From the Dean

Dean McCord

I hope you found this inaugural issue of our newsletter for transfer counselors and advisors helpful. Each year, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at NIU welcomes on average nearly 800 transfer students to its ranks, the majority of whom come from community colleges throughout Illinois. We hope this newsletter will be useful in helping students at your college make informed decisions about their education and the transfer process.

Your comments and feedback are valuable to us in shaping the content and format of future issues. Please send your ideas and suggestions to our College Communications office at


Christopher K. McCord, Dean
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 


College Advisors by Department

Transfer Credits and Program Majors Guide

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Visiting Campus

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